COMM 320 Entrepreneurship

Business Plan Worksheet
Videos about this Worksheet & researching:


1. Understanding your Business, its business model and its industry

Before you start searching, think about your business and its industry.

  1. Locate the appropriate North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code from the Statistics Canada website. Look at exclusions, example activities and how your industry is called by experts. Transcribe the code number (5-digit) and the name given to the industry. Multiple NAICS codes are allowed if your business spans multiple industries, or for vertical/horizontal integration.
  1. Locate the relevant trade associations as you can usually find interesting business information from them. Go to their website and look for publications, press releases, press kits (or any information for the public), annual reports, trade shows, lawsuits, white papers, directories, interviews, newsletters…
    1. Use Associations Canada, a book (, kept at the Reference Desk in both Concordia Libraries, that is a “phone book” for trade associations
    2. Try also looking for them via Google by searching for your industry name with the terms “association” and “Canada”

Report salient elements from this section to the dashboard on the first page of this worksheet.

2. Company & Industry Information

You can find industry reports from the following systems:

3. Business Directories: Find competitors, clients, suppliers, market leaders

The goal of this section is to identify the various important companies in your industry. Not only can you visit their website, but you can also find articles about them, as we will describe in step 7 below.

Here are some Company directories we provide at the library (most of them allow searching with the NAICS Code, as per step 1 above). For each of these, record the names of interesting companies, perhaps the largest in terms of sales or employees or the closest ones.

  1. D&B Million Dollar Database (covers most industries in Canada) use advanced search to search for NAICS Code
  2. iCRIQ: covers manufacturing & wholesale in Canada
  3. Canadian Company Capabilities: from Industry Canada
  4. Yellow Pages ( or Canada 411 (
  5. Others listed here:

Report salient elements from this section to the dashboard on the first page of this worksheet.

4. Google Advanced Search: Find government information

Search for government information, particularly if you require a licence to operate your business. Because there is a lot of government information on the Free Web, use Google’s Advanced Search. Use the “Site/Domain” filter on the Advanced Search screen to limit your results to government website.

Government Level Example of “Site/domain” Tip
Municipal Look for “Montréal en statistiques” page for information for boroughs
Provincial The province deals with mainly: health, education, welfare, culture, agriculture/food…
Federal Always check for reports from Industry Canada at

or other agency

Agencies affiliated with the United Nations have their own website

Report salient elements from this section to the dashboard on the first page of this worksheet.

5. Market & Consumer Data

You can find consumer and market data from the following systems:

  1. PassportGMID by Euromonitor: Worldwide market reports (includes Canada)

a)      Countries & Consumers > Consumer Trends & Lifestyles > ANALYSIS FINDER > Consumer Lifestyles > Canada

b)      Search > Browse and Select Relevant Topics > Choose Geographies > Reports & Statistics

  1. PMB Category Reports: Survey of Canadian consumers – Go to site & click Product Data; click on percentages to get full report
  1. FP Markets (Book): Summary of Canadian cities, with demographic clusters (kept at Reference Desk)
  2. More listed here:

Report salient elements from this section to the dashboard on the first page of this worksheet.

6. Statistic Canada

Our national statistical agency provides most of its reports and data for free from their website Although you may search for these from the main page, it is recommended that you use the two aggregate data reporting tools as part of the Census and CANSIM.

  1. Census: every 5 years, last one in 2011. Search on Data Products > Census Profiles > Postal Codes & more
  1. CANSIM: All other StatCan datasets: household spending; retail trade sales; labour force survey; Neighbourhood income and demographics; family income; NAICS Statistics – click ADD REMOUVE DATA

Report salient elements from this section to the dashboard on the first page of this worksheet.

7. Special activity: calculate your market share

The market share is the ratio of the size of your business compared to its industry (which is driven by geographical limitations). Usually, you can use your total revenue (or estimation from SME Benchmarking – see step 2) and calculate the total market size using data from Statistic Canada’s CANSIM.

Market share =                 Total revenues (from SME Benchmarking)                                           =

Total market size (from  CANSIM, search: NAICS statistics)           =

8. News and articles

At this point, you already have many relevant elements for your business plan. If you are missing elements, use articles from our article databases. Think about your subject: (1) industry (use NAICS, watch out for jargon); (2) trade associations; (3) market leaders and major competitors; or (4) subject term. Use the Dashboard of this worksheet for keywords. Here are the article databases:

  1. ProQuest Business Databases: Articles (Canadian & more) from magazines, trade publications, peer-reviewed/Scholarly journals, company profiles, market reports,

  2. Eureka: French Language newspapers from Quebec and Europe
  3. Factiva: Trade magazines from around the world

  4. More listed here:

Report salient elements from this section to the dashboard on the first page of this worksheet.

9. Getting research help from the library

To get help, contact the  Ask-A-Librarian service ( at Concordia University Libraries. When you contact us, make sure to specify the following:

  1. Tell us about your project (e.g. the COMM 320 Entrepreneurship’s Business Plan);
  2. The NAICS Code or information about your industry or business;
  3. Which system you are having issues with.

Please be precise and provide all relevant information!

~ Good luck! Remember, perfect information does not exist, use what you find, a smart estimate is better than nothing! ~

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